Napoleon sacrifices himself to save France from civil war.
We recently finished: With Napoleon in Russia. Now we’re reading the memoirs of Napoleon’s Valet Marchand from their time together all over Europe and at St. Helena.
Then I will read the Memoirs of Hortense Bonaparte. All three writers of these memoirs are considered exceptionally honest. All three essentially lived with Napoleon. Then I plan to read Napoleon’s letters to Josephine. You will see that Napoleon is the same person in all of these accounts. I’m doing this because I believe this is important and that our whole present world-in-crisis comes out of this True story.
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Special commentary on tonight’s reading: Notice how Marchand always references Hortense with words concerning affection. He’s telling you something. They had a sacred love. But Marchand didn’t want to fuel the rumors of his day that they were lovers. They weren’t. I find it odd how they generally cut Hortense out of the story and then super expand Josephine’s role. There is a reason. Hortense is the one woman who was with Napoleon the whole time he ruled. That’s because he wanted her there. She tried to get away from him. So much of the story is between the two of them and their inability to connect like they both really wanted to.
Napoleon made her the mother of his heir, the godmother of his son with Marie Louise (which I’m sure she wasn’t happy about).
He gave Hortense the throne of Holland which she didn’t even want. He was always trying to impress and please her. She’d tell him she didn’t want any of these things, she’d say she wanted love. It’s a very tragic love story.
I don’t think Caulaincourt and Marchand deal with it because it might’ve made Napoleon look a bit incestuous. (When technically he wasn’t.)
Hortense and Napoleon worshipped each other. He would’ve done much better with a wife like her. That’s why I’m doing all of this set up for HER memoirs.